Wednesday, February 17, 2010

B101's Weekday Tweets - Wednesday

Our quick thoughts on Wednesday's results:

Purdue isn't a 1 seed - yet - but they certainly looked the part on Wednesday night. Led by JuJuan Johnson's 24 points, the Boilermakers got out to an early double-digit lead and held off a late Ohio State rally to pick up a huge 60-57 win over Evan Turner and the red-hot Buckeyes in Columbus. The win is Purdue's fourth over a team ranked in the top 10 this season and their sixth Top 50 win overall. The Boilers have now won eight straight Big Ten games, and are now just a half game behind Michigan State for first place in conference. If they beat Illinois at home on Saturday and if Villanova loses at Pitt, they'll be the final 1 seed in Monday's bracket. Ohio State, meanwhile, will fall from their spot on the 2 line next week, and how far they fall will depend on how they fare in East Lansing on Sunday. If the Buckeyes beat the Spartans, it would create a pretty big logjam atop the Big Ten, with three teams potentially separated by just a half a game.

Maybe we shouldn't have added that fifth A-10 bid after all. Both Charlotte and Rhode Island suffered damaging (and potentially resume-killing) losses on Wednesday night, and as a result, both may be out of our next bracket on Monday. The 49ers blew a 10-point first half lead in an 83-77 home loss to lowly Duquesne, and Rhode Island became Saint Louis' second upset victim in the last five days, losing 62-57 on the road to the Bilikens. Both losses were bad, but Rhode Island's is definitely worse. The Rams have now lost three in a row, and at 7-5, they are alone in seventh place in the A-10 standings. Even if they win at home against Fordham on Saturday, it's hard to see them staying in the field next week. Charlotte very well could join URI on the outside of the bracket looking in, but the 49ers have one more chance to keep their bid - if they can find a way to beat Xavier at home on Saturday. If they lose, they'll be out, too. The biggest winner in this whole mess is Dayton - who will (finally) get into our field if they can just beat LaSalle at home on Thursday and Duquesne on the road on Sunday. (See, Flyer fans, we don't hate you after all.)

Saint Louis' win - their sixth in a row - makes them the most intriguing team in the A-10 right now. The Bilikens are now 8-3 in conference, and they still have home games with Xavier and Temple and a road game at Dayton left. If they could ever win out (they also have a road game at UMass on Sunday and a home game against Duquesne next Saturday), they would leap frog their way into the bracket heading into the A-10 tourney.

It was good night for a couple of teams hanging on or around our Last Four In list. Oklahoma State led by as many as 20 in the first half and hung on for a 69-64 win at Iowa State, and UAB overcame a surprisingly tough test from Southern Miss to beat the Golden Eagles 59-54 in Hattiesburg. Oklahoma State's win snapped a two-game road losing streak in conference and moved them to 6-5 in conference with a critical home game against Baylor looming on Saturday. The Cowboys would be in the field if we did a bracket today, but their remaining schedule (Baylor, at Texas, Kansas, at Texas A&M, Nebraska) leaves them little room for error down the road. The same can be said for UAB, who moved into sole possession of third place in C-USA with their win and Tulsa's home loss to Marshall. The Blazers face Houston at home on Saturday, and if they win, they'll remain in our bracket next week. If they lose, C-USA could very well be back to a one-bid league.

Louisville needed 10 extra minutes to do it, but the Cardinals also picked up a huge bubble win on Wednesday, beating Notre Dame (sans Luke Harangody) 91-89 in double overtime at Freedom Hall. Samardo Samuels was unstoppable inside for Louisville in the victory, scoring a career-high 36 points, hitting 16-of-19 free throws, and almost single-handedly fouling out four Irish players. Tim Abromaitis (29 points) did everything he could in Harangody's absence to keep ND in the game, but in the end, the shorthanded Irish couldn't pull the upset. Louisville's next game is at DePaul on Saturday, and then the Cardinals begin a season-defining four-game stretch to finish the year (vs. Georgetown, at UConn, at Marquette, vs. Syracuse). If they just split those games, they're in. Anything less, and they'll have to do some damage in the Big East tourney to get a bid.

It's been nearly impossible for teams to win on the road in the Big XII this season, and that trend continued Wednesday in Columbia. Kim English scored 18 points, including 11 in one key six-minute stretch in the second half, to lead Missouri to an 82-77 home win over Texas. The win improved the Tigers to 7-4 in conference and sent the skidding Longhorns to their sixth loss in their last nine games. If Missouri can win at Nebraska on Saturday, they'll likely be a 6 seed in our next bracket. Texas, who is now 6-5 in the Big XII, will need a win at Texas Tech on Saturday to avoid falling into the 8/9 game next week.

Northwestern has found plenty of creative ways to miss out on the NCAA tournament over the years. This year, they'll be on the outside looking in because they couldn't beat the two worst teams in the Big Ten. Exactly one week after the Wildcats suffered a crippling loss at lowly Iowa, their at-large hopes were officially dealt a knockout blow Wednesday night at the hands of Penn State (Penn State!), a team that was 0-12 in conference coming in. Not only did the Nittany Lions win by 11 in Evanston, they did so with their leading scorer, Talor Battle, scoring just 10 points on 2-of-8 shooting. The only hope Northwestern has now of getting an at-large (besides the tournament expanding to 96 teams tomorrow) is to win out and to win two games in the Big Ten tourney. Any takers on that bet?

UNLV's slide toward a double-digit seed continued on Wednesday night, as they lost 66-61 at Utah. It's the third straight loss for the Runnin' Rebels, who, at 7-5, are now a game behind San Diego State and alone in fourth place in the Mountain West. That normally wouldn't be a good place to be in a conference that figures to get three bids, but the Rebels' schedule is very easy from here on out. They play Colorado State at home on Saturday and then finish up with a home game against TCU, a game at Air Force, and a home game against Wyoming. They should win all of those games and be in good shape to grab a bid heading into the MWC tourney.

Of note: West Virginia won at Providence; Duke won at Miami; Maryland won at N.C. State; Florida State won at Virginia; Kansas State beat Nebraska at home; Tennessee beat Georgia at home; New Mexico beat Wyoming at home; BYU won at Colorado State; Temple won at St. Bonaventure; Xavier beat St. Joseph's at home; Richmond beat Fordham at home; Butler beat Illinois-Chicago at home; Utah State beat Louisiana Tech at home; Wichita State edged Evansville at home.


Shaudius said...

Why is Purdue not a 1 seed yet though?

Their resume is certainly more impressive than Villlanova's

Nova key wins: Dayton, Ole Miss, Maryland, WVU, Georgetown, Louisville

Losses: uconn, Georgetown, Temple

Purdue's key wins: Tenn, Wake Forest, WVU, Wisconsin, MSU, OSU

Purdue's losses: NW, Wisconsin, OSU

Nova's losses are equal or worse to Purdue's, uconn is about as bubbly as NW, OSU is better than Temple, Wisconsin is worse than Georgetown.

Of tournament locks, Purdue has beaten better teams. Now Nova has some bubble wins that Purdue doesn't have, Seton Hall and Marquette xs 2 compared to Purdue's Illinois(hopefully x2s after Saturday).

Additionally, you have to like Purdue's chances going forward in the Big Ten as their biggest games are at home(MSU and Illinois), where's Nova's biggest games are 2/3 on the road, at Pitt, at Cuse,

now Nova has 3 chances to pick up huge wins in the next 5 games, whereas Purdue only has 1 really, but Nova is more likely to lose 2 of 3 than win 2 of 3, whereas Purdue seems more likely to win at home versus Illinois and MSU.

So season ending today or projected, I can't see how Nova is the 1 over Purdue right now.

a similar analysis could be done for Cuse, only Cuse has an even less impressive(but one less loss) resume than Nova(more bubble wins less lock wins), and one of either Cuse or Nova will lose again(since they play each other).

At least to me it looks more likely at this point, both season ending today and projected that the Big East is far more likely to get 1, 1-seed than it is to get 2, so your four number ones should be, Cuse(or Nova), Purdue, UK and KU.

Anonymous said...

@ Shadius --

The resumes are very similar, but I'd give Nova the edge on the following -- Nova has 2 wins over the RPI top 10 (one on the road), Purdue has 1 (at home). Nova also has a better record against the RPI top 100 (11-3) than Purdue (9-3) -- but this does come, as you note, against 51-100.

Jeff said...

"OSU is better than Temple"

RPI: Temple 11 OSU 31
SOS: Temple 30 OSU 85
Record vs RPI top 50: Temple 6-4 OSU 4-3
Record vs RPI top 25: Temple 4-2 OSU 3-3

Wanna try again?

Shaudius said...


I'm not sure why you cut the RPI at top 10, considering if you cut it just to 20(all very good teams still right?), the difference becomes 2 wins for Nova compared to 4 for Purdue, so Purdue has beaten 2 more team in the top 20 RPI instead of 1 more team in the top 10, I'd say that's advantage Purdue(that doesn't include Purdue's wins over OSU and MSU both on the road).

Yes, I will concede that Nova has played more top 100 teams, but those 2 extra top 100 teams Nova played are Notre Dame and St. John's, now I'm not going to say Purdue would win both those games certainly, but you have to concede that if Purdue were to have played those two teams instead of their 108 RPI team Buffalo(who they beat by 36) and their 117 RPI team Michigan, they would probably have emerged victorious.

@Jeff OSU lost 3 games without their star player and that's something that factors into both seeding and quality of the team itself. Besides, the RPI is a flawed stat when looked at in absolute terms anyway, or do you believe that Duke is the 2nd best team in the country? MSU the 26th? OSU the 31st? Louisville the 30th? Louisville is better than OSU?

Do you believe Temple's QWs of VaTech, Nova, RI x2 2 and Xavier

are better than OSU's Cal, Purdue, Wisconsin, Florida State and Illinois?

Maybe they are and maybe they aren't but here's the important thing.

OSU is a 2 seed in B101's bracket, Temple is a 5, even if you don't think OSU is better, B101 thinks the selection committee will think OSU is better, so therefore a loss against OSU looks better than a loss against Temple, which was the point of my argument.

Anonymous said...

Nova is 3 in RPI, Purdue is 10, nove has the higher SOS by 20 spots, is higher ranked(eye test),has 7 road wins, vs 6, and in case you can't read, NW is done, and Uconn has a very good shot at the tourney. The syracuse comparison is even more ridiculous... Syracuse has been one of the most impressive teams of the season, winning the Coaches vs Cancer tournament, and, underratedly, winning 3 straight road games in 5 days, sandwiching a win at west virginia in between wins in piscataway and south bend.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does Missouri get away with a lot of fouls?

DavidS said...

After last night, Nova is 6 in the RPI and Purdue is 9. Nova is 2-2 vs. RPI top 25, Purdue is 5-1. Nova is 6-3 against top 50, Purdue is 6-2. No one cares about wins over 51-100, but Purdue's loss @NU looks worse as the weeks go by. They are definitely very close. Purdue has proven itself better against the top teams, which is why I think they get the slight nod here. The committee looks for good wins and Purdue has the most. Still a lot of ball to play, and they are very close right now, but I think Purdue has a little bit better resume.

Shaudius said...

Anonymous said...

Nova is 3 in RPI, Purdue is 10, nove has the higher SOS by 20 spots, is higher ranked(eye test),has 7 road wins, vs 6, and in case you can't read, NW is done, and Uconn has a very good shot at the tourney. The syracuse comparison is even more ridiculous... Syracuse has been one of the most impressive teams of the season, winning the Coaches vs Cancer tournament, and, underratedly, winning 3 straight road games in 5 days, sandwiching a win at west virginia in between wins in piscataway and south bend.

As of yesterday, before Purdue beat OSU, their RPI was 10, and Nova's was 6(source, thats a meaningless distinction. Again, or do you think Duke is the second best team in the nation and Wake is the 12th? The RPI is not an absolute system.

Nova is ranked 3rd, Purdue 4th, the other supposed 1 seed, Cuse, is 5th? So wouldn't that argument support my argument that Purdue + 1 BE team is a 1 seed, but not both over Purdue?

A higher SoS by 20 rankings also means very little as far as seeding is concerned, no one cares that your RPI >100 wins were versus teams in the 110-120 range versus teams in the 140-150 range. Bad teams are bad teams, also, no one cares if you beat Rutgers, only if you lose to Rutgers(RPI 100 btw, thats a nice top 100 win).

NW is done but uconn has a very good shot? uconn only has a nice shot because Nova lost to them, just like NW only really had a nice shot earlier in the season because Purdue lost to them, they're both bad losses and basically a wash.

So winning a pre-conference tournament makes you impressive? Purdue won the Paradise Jam beating a full strength Tenn team, is that less impressive than Cuse beating a UNC team that has since proven to be anything but tournament caliber?

So they won 3 games in 5 days? Whats your point? Neither Rutgers nor ND are tournament teams, WVU is, but guess who beat that same WVU team by 19? Purdue. Before you get on my case about ND, they have the weakest non-conference schedule of anyone even in the bubble discussion, and basically couldn't even buy a 20 win season, and Rutgers will be lucky to finish with a winning record.

But why don't we actually do the Cuse analysis,

Cuse QWs: Cal, Cornell, Florida, WVU, Gtown, Marquette(?), Cincy(?)

That looks like 2 tournament locks to me, WVU and Gtown, Cornell, Florida, Marquette Cincy and Cal are all bubble teams. We could include USF, ND and hell even Seton Hall in that list and it wouldn't add a single definite tournament team.

Purdue on the other hand has beaten WVU, MSU, OSU, Wake Forest, Tenn and Wiscosnin, all tournament locks.

So thats 6 lock wins veruss 2 lock wins. Even if you shift Cornell and Cal in as locks, the edge still goes to Purdue, and I didn't include Purdue's bubble win versus Illinois.

You mention Cuse's road wins being 6 to 7, but who were their road wins to?

Cuse's road wins: Florida, Seton Hall, Rutgers, WVU, DePaul, Cincy, Notre Dame

So 2 scrubs(Rutgers and DePaul), 4 bubble teams, and 1 lock

Now lets look at Purdue's road wins: Alabama, Iowa, Illinois, MSU, OSU.

So 2 locks, 1 bubble, 2 scrubs.

The neutral court win of Tenn is better than the neutral court win of UNC.

You could argue beating one more lock on the road is worse than beating 3 more bubbles, but I think its a wash with the neutral court favouring Purdue.

Cuse is ahead in the discussion though because of their one less loss, but lose at Pitt tonight and I think Purdue has the edge over Cuse just like it already does versus Nova.

AG said...

Mizzou plays a 40 minutes of hell style defense that Mike Anderson learned as an assistant under Nolan Richardson. They basically press the whole game and that leads to a lot of fouls. It doesn't hurt them too badly since their bench is so deep.

As for Syracuse, "winning the Coaches v. Cancer tournament" basically means they beat Cal and UNC at home. Big deal. If they were in the national title game would you trust Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson to hit their free throws? I don't see 'Cuse winning tonight, either.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon

Syracuse won Coaches vs. Cancer against two teams, Cal and UNC, who were overranked and may not even make the NCAA tournament this year - Cal obviously having the better chance to do so. So, I am not sure how winning that tournament wins you much of an argument. Purdue, afterall, won the Paradise Jam by beating 9th ranked Tennessee when UT had all of their players pre-suspension. Not to mention, UT is much better than both Cal and UNC at this time. Purdue blew out West Virginia and Syracuse won by 1 pt @ WVU - both great wins. So, I don't think Purdue and Syracuse are that much different, especially based on your arguments.

As for 'Nova, I was very impressed with their win @ WVU. However, I'm not sure how they are better than Purdue using the eye test. Next week, Purdue will be ranked above 'Nova, so does that change the eye test? Granted, losing @ NW doesn't look good now, but at least it was on the road and not at home. UConn was embarrassed at home vs. Cincy and yet they come in and knock off 'Nova @ 'Nova? Uconn has talent, but Villanova shouldn't lose to them at home.

I don't think it matters in the end, though. 'Nova and PU will likely be in the same bracket as the No. 1 and 2 seeds (assuming neither stubs their toe again), and everything will be settled on the court.

Anonymous said...

thank the lord....the A10 blows, my father could start for any team in that conference....

Anonymous said...

I suppose, because I'm bored, that I'll argue for duke. Duke has 8 wins against teams in the top 43 of the RPI, vs 5 for nova, and 5 for purdue. Purdue and Duke both played Wake Forest, with Purdue winning 69-58, and Duke completely blowing them out of the water, 90-70. Duke has the 8th ranked SOS, vs 53 for purdue, andhas just one extra loss to show for the difference. Duke has COMPLETELY out-classed 8 different top 100 teams, defined for these purposes as a win by at least a baker's dozen. Purdue has a full 1 win of the sort. Duke has 9 wins over Ken Pomeroy's top 50, including 8 over the top 40, and 6 over the top 27. Duke has 1 more loss, but both teams have an inexplainable loss, Duke's to N.C. State(84 in pomeroy's ratings), Purdue's to Northwestern(71st). All of the other losses between the 2 teams combined are in the top 25 of his rankings, with Duke's 3 coming on the road, and 1 of purdue's losses coming at home. Duke has a further 6 games vs the RPI top 100, which they should win easily, which would move them to 17-3 vs RPI top 100, Purdue has another 4 opportunities, 2 of which are easy wins, and 2 of which are very tough games that I'm not sure you can favor Purdue in. The game against michigan state is one i would bet they lose, since it will be a statement game for MSU after losing earlier without kalin lucas, Should they win all the games, they would be 12-3 vs RPI top 100. Duke also has the big name, the great coach, the better guard play and the higher upside(great season even with singler struggling, and young frontcourt players).

Anonymous said...

Dayton should have never left the B101 bracket. The Flyers have a strong resume and belong in the field. The fact that they were left out this week is ridiculous.

Shaudius said...

Margin of victory is ultimately meaningless in any of these discussions, otherwise we could split so many hairs it wouldn’t be funny, KU’s OT win versus Colorado, UK’s OT wins versus Stanford and Miss State, it doesn’t matter how you win only that you win.

The SoS argument is potentially value, but its not really about the scrub teams you beat(that are better than the scrub teams others beat), but the quality opponents that you beat. Purdue also has 9 wins over kenpom’s top 50, so that’s also a wash.

Duke only has 5 games left in their season, so I don’t know how they could possibly have 6 games versus the RPI top 100 left. So Duke winning at Maryland is an easy win? But Purdue beating Illinois at home(I’m assuming this is the non-easy win) isn’t? Or at Virginia for that matter, one only needs to look at how Duke has faired on the road to realize that their home court advantage is huge and no away game is an easy win for this Duke team.

Kalin Lucas played in the game at the Breslin with Purdue, and was semi-effective, but Purdue still won by 12.

What does a big name, a great coach and better guard play(which is debatable) have to do with anything? Okay, so lets award seeding based on huge potential upside, everyone, get ready to see uconn, UNC and Louisville as 2 seeds.

Shaudius said...

Also, Duke has 2 wins versus the RPI top 25 compared with 4 for Purdue and 2 for Nova.

Don't get me wrong Duke has a legit argument for a 1 seed, but Purdue actually has 6 wins versus the RPI top 50, versus Purdue's 8, and one of those is a top 50 win versus uconn for Duke.

Purdue's top 50 wins: Tenn, Wake, WVU, Wisconsin, MSU, OSU

Duke's top 50 wins: Charlotte, uconn, Gonzaga, Florida State, Wake, Clemson, Gatech, Maryland

Throw out Wake since both teams beat them, throw out uconn because counting that as a top 50 win is kind of ridiculous at this point,

and you have

Purdue: Tenn, WVU, OSU, MSU, Wisconsin


Duke: Charlotte, Gonzaga, FSU, Clemson, GaTech, Maryland

I think Purdue wins, especially when you consider only one of Duke's top 50 wins came on the road, where as 2 of Purdue's did.

Even if you do put that uconn win in, Purdue has the edge because of the one less loss, the same reason Cuse has the edge on Purdue today(but Nova doesn't).

Michael said...

I'm not going to re-hash all of the arguments made for Purdue, Nova, Cuse or Duke as number one seeds, but I will concede that all of their resumes are pretty close. The selection committee, however, loves two things: 1) Playing and beating good teams 2) road/neutral wins.

I don't think all of the teams in the discussion have accomplished #1. It's #2 where I think Purdue has an advantage. The committee is going to look at Purdue and see that it beat Michigan State, Ohio State, and Tennessee on the road. None of the other contenders for the #1 spot have three wins like that on the road. Duke's best road/neutral win is at Clemson and that's worse than all three of Purdue's. Nova beat West Virginia and Louisville on the road, but I'd equate the Louisville win with Purdue's Illinois win and Illinois is Purdue's 4th best road win. The Cuse's best road wins are at West Virginia and at Cincy.

In the areas that the committee assigns the greatest weight, Purdue has an edge and I think that would earn them the one seed if the season ended today.

Robert said...

Texas still has a very tough schedule left. How far do you see the Longhorns seed falling if they lose a majority of their remaining games? Is it possible Texas could miss the tourney?

Jackrabbit1 said...

I really don't think Villanova will get a one seed. They have a very tough schedule and could easily lose 2-3 more games.

Anonymous said...

If duke goes 17-3 vs top 100 RPI teams, then wins their conference tournaments, beating in the process another 3, I think it would be ridiculous to speculate that they did not "play and beat" good teams. Also, If you'll not, I used pomeroy's top 50, not the RPI top 50.

Michael said...

I didn't mean to say that Duke did not play and beat good teams. I think Nova, Duke, Purdue and Syracuse have all done that.

I like Pomeroy better as well, but the committee barely uses it, unfortunately.

All I'm saying is Purdue has beaten four teams that were ranked in the Top Ten at the time they played them, three of those away from home. That's something none of these other teams with similar resumes are going to be able to boast.

Bracketology 101 said...

Some solid debating on here today everybody. Nice work.

It's clear from everyone's arguments that good cases could be made for Purdue, Villanova, and Syracuse all to be No. 1 seeds. We like Syracuse the best out of the three right now, and we are leaning toward Purdue over Villanova for the other spot because the Boilermakers have three more RPI top 25 wins (5 vs. 2) and because they have an easier schedule left. Ultimately, the 1 seeds will be determined by how these three teams (and others) do in their respective conference tournaments. Purdue gets a slight edge in that comparison, too, because it's much more likely that Villanova or Syracuse get upset early in the Big East tourney than Purdue does in the Big Ten tourney.

Texas is definitely heading in the wrong direction, but we would be stunned if their skid ended with them missing the tournament. Their last five games (at Texas Tech, vs. Oklahoma State, at Texas A&M, vs. Oklahoma, at Baylor) are in no way easy, but they should at worst go 3-2. Depending on who those three are against, they'll probably be somewhere in the 6-8 range heading into the Big XII tourney.

Anonymous said...

"because it's much more likely that Villanova or Syracuse get upset early in the Big East tourney than Purdue does in the Big Ten tourney."

Do you mean that the Big East is a tougher conference than the Big 10?

Justin said...

B101 - in case you were wondering, Jerry Palm did not get your note about the Hokies.

Apparently they need to win all of their home games, win @BC, and win @Duke or @GT to make the tournament. I.e., they need to go 12-4 in the ACC to have a shot.

Wow. That's ignoring pretty much every objective standard out there for judging teams in favor of OOC SOS. At 12-4 with a win @GT or @Duke, VT would have to be around a 6 seed at least.

Bracketology 101 said...

The Big East is better - and much deeper - than the Big Ten. If Villanova finishes second in the Big East, they would face the 7 or the 10 seed in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. Those teams, right now, would be Marquette and Cincinnati. That's a lot tougher than what Purdue will face in the quarters of the Big Ten tourney.

We hope Palm sticks with that idiotic rationale about the Hokies. That'll be one more team we get right than him on Selection Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Virginia Tech is in as of now. However, they're not in nearly as good of a position as some of their fans believe. It boggles my mind that a team in one of the BCS conferences has only played 5 games against RPI top 75 teams at this point in the season.

AG said...

I think one thing some of the people on here are missing when it comes to Villanova is that while they do have some very strong guard play (especially Scottie Reynolds, how is he NOT considered by everyone to be better than John Wall?) but Nova has really struggled against teams with size. UConn is one of the biggest teams in the country and they couldn't handle them even at home. Even Michigan, a team which has had a chronic shortage of size since Ekpe Udoh followed his AAU Coach to Baylor managed to beat them. And then there was that absolute layup line @ Georgetown (which, btw, Duke should have to answer for as well).

So as far as the question of who deserves a #1 seed more, Villanova or Purdue, the answer is Purdue, simply because Nova won't have an answer for Syracuse's size when they play at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.

As for Duke, rather than asking whether Duke deserves a #1 seed ahead of Purdue based on who they played, how about asking if Duke deserves a #1 seed over KENTUCKY based on who they played? The demise of the Pac-10 has concealed a dirty little secret, which is that the SEC isn't really that much better than it was last year.

Anonymous said...

Good point about Kentucky. However, they only have 1 loss and their computer numbers say a #1 seed also. At some point the committee (I think anyway), looks past all the numbers and goes with an eyeball test. Using that test, regardless of what numbers say, Kansas is clearly the best team in the country. After that, it's either Kentucky and Syracuse. After that, I think there are a lot of teams that are quite even. But those 3 (and Kansas is in a class by itself) are a level above.

BEISketbol said...

Not sure how you could put Dook ahead of Purdue. Sure the Blue Devils beat a bunch of inferior top-50 teams, but they have struggled in true road games, going just 4-4 (best win @Clemson, yawn), and are only 2-2 against the RPI top 25, with their best win probably against Gonzaga on a neutral floor.

In contrast, Purdue is 5-1 (yeah, 5-1) against the RPI top 25 and 6-2 in true road contests. Both teams beat Wake at home so that's a wash. Purdue has very nice wins at home against WVU and 'Sconsin and on the road against MSU, OSU, and Illinois. Not to mention their neutral site win against Tennessee.

Thus, the Boilers have a much better case of being an "elite" team as of now. This, of course, could change, especially since the Dookies have a much better chance of winning the ACC tournament than Purdue does of winning the Big Ten tourney. The top of the Big Ten is much, much better than the top of the ACC this year.

Brett said...

Here's a fun little game:

Team A:
Record vs RPI top 25: 1-1
Record vs RPI 25-50: 1-1
Record vs RPI 50-100: 4-2
Record vs RPI 100+: 15-0

Team B:
Record vs RPI top 25: 1-6
Record vs RPI top 50: 2-2
Record vs RPI 50-100: 3-1
Record vs RPI 100+: 9-0

The teams aren't very different except for top 25 record. However, one team is going to be in everyone's bracket while the other team isn't even on the bubble for most bracketologists.

Shaudius said...

While the BE may be deeper, its also much larger, when you're talking about conferences its something that is usually neglected by BE supporters.

5 teams in out of the BT is equivalent to ~7.5 teams in out of the BE.

Another downside to having so many teams in the BE, depending on the schedule breaks, you end up playing the good teams far less in the BE than you do in the Big Ten, Nova was a victim of this this season,

Of the other tournament locks from the BE Nova will have played 6 games by the end of the year, if you count Pitt, WVU, Cuse and Georgetown

Purdue on the other hand will have played the other top 4 teams in the BT, MSU, OSU, Wisconsin and Illinois 8 times.

As their head to head and OOC schedules have shown, there's little difference between playing Notre Dame and playing NW, I would also imagine there's little difference between playing Minnesota and playing Cincy. Sure the BE teams may be perceived better, but are they really? NW beat ND straight up neutral court, Minnesota played TAMU tight and beat Butler early in the year. Middle the road Michigan beat middle of the road uconn, granted at Michigan.

The bottom of the BE is also as bad as the bottom of the Big Ten, losing to Rutgers or DePaul is just as bad as losing to Iowa or Indiana.

I will admit to not knowing exactly how the BE tournament works, but to say that playing Marquette or Cincy would be tougher than playing Minnesota or NW, doesn't really hold much weight to me, they're all around the same level.

The BE being so huge means there's a huge bubble as the middling teams in the middle beat themselves up, it doesn't make them better. The middle teams in the BT get beat up by the top more because they play the top more.

The BE ends up playing schedules like Nova, the BT ends up playing schedules like Purdue most of the time.

Shaudius said...

One more, Cuse plays the top four teams out of the BE a total of 5 times, thats even one less than Nova does. Losing 1 out of 3 of those tims so far, with 2 more to come. Georgetown plays em 6 times as well. Noticing a trend?

Anonymous said...

I'll take UConn, Cincy, Marquette, and Louisville over any middle of the road Big 10 team. The Big 12 and Big East are the best conferences this year. The RPI thinks so too.

Anonymous said...

Here's the difference Shaudius. The top 4 teams in the Big East are among the top 10 teams in the country. The top 4 teams in the Big 10 are among the top 40 in the country.

BEISketbol said...

Brett, Seton Hall could easily end up at 10-8 in conference with their remaining schedule (@WVU, Rutgers, Marquette, @Rutgers, @Providence). They would certainly have to at least go 4-1 in that stretch to have any shot of getting in though.

You did fail to point out that Team A beat Team B on a neutral floor.

That said, Va Tech doesn't have much room for error with their not-so-impressive resume. Though, it's tough to put Tech behind some of the teams with better wins that are in the middle of the ACC standings (FSU, Georgia Tech, Clemson), especially when they're tied for second in the league.

Anonymous said...

You're basically saying the Big East teams play an easier schedule, right?


Cuse: 12
Nova: 31
Pitt: 10
Gtown: 2
WVU: 3

Purdue: 43
OSU: 66
Illinois: 64
MSU: 50
Wis: 14


Brett said...


Yeah, I wasn't really arguing for inclusion of SHU. I was, more or less, arguing that Virginia Tech still isn't that impressive. And yes, Tech beat SHU on a neutral floor in OT. So, the edge definitely goes to Tech, but they're pretty close.

Anonymous said...

There is a huge difference between going 1-6 vs. the top 25 and going 1-1 vs. the top 25. That's 5 extra chances for Team B to pick up a quality win.

Michael said...

I don't know if I was a Big East fan if I'd be talking much smack to the Big Ten. Purdue absolutely dominated West Virginia. Michigan beat UConn. Wisconsin beat Marquette. Northwestern beat DePaul. Even Indiana beat Pitt.

The computer rankings I respect (note the RPI) show the Big East with a slight edge and that may be true, but the two conferences are interchangeable.

Travis said...

Could Old Dominion earn an at large if they win at Northern Iowa? How many Colonial teams do you see making the field?

Howard Salwasser said...

Who's having it worse? Northwestern or the U.S. curling team?

Shaudius said...

" Anonymous said...

Here's the difference Shaudius. The top 4 teams in the Big East are among the top 10 teams in the country. The top 4 teams in the Big 10 are among the top 40 in the country."

Are they? Says what, the flawed RPI? Thats the same RPI that says that Duke is better than UK, Cuse, WVU and Nova.

So you're also prepared to say that Ohio State is the 42nd best team in the country?

the Pomeroy rankings, the AP and Coaches polls, Saragin ratings and common sense all say that the RPI is the exception to the huge lopsided BE being that much better argument.

But regardless, my point was that the Big East may play their middle teams more, but they play against their top teams less, so more teams end up with records that are closer to 13-12 than 6-19 which they'd have if they played the top more instead of the middle more, this makes teams like Minnesota look extremely bad compared to teams like USF because Minnesota has to play better teams more often than USF does.

Its a lot harder to win a lot of games when you're playing more top 25 teams than when you're playing more top 75 teams is my whole point.

BE plays more middle teams, less top teams in a season.

Regardless of all that, I'm still putting a ton more stock in tempo free than I am in RPI, especially since if you follow tempo free its basically predictive to within 2 points of where Vegas sets the lines for games which usually end up being pretty accurate to the final score(with some variance obviously).

Anonymous said...

Brett - it's much better to beat 4 ACC teams just now outside of the top 100 (Virginia, NC State, Boston College) than it is to lose 5 extra games to the top 25. Virginia was even considered a quality win after they had beaten several quality ACC teams in a row.

Teams don't (or shouldn't) get extra credit for just playing and losing to top teams. If at this point VT had lost to 4 top ACC teams and had a 4-5 ACC record, instead of the winning against the bottom 4 and earning an 8-3 record, they'd rightfully be out of the picture. There's only so much you can control your schedule, and in conference you can only play who you've been given.

Anonymous said...

I'm not following you Shadius. Sagarin, Pomeroy, and RPI all have the Big East as the better conference.

As a corollary to your argument, it also means Big East teams get to play the really bad teams less also. (i.e. Iowa, Penn State, Indiana, DePaul, Rutgers)

You destroy the RPI for having Duke too high (and I agree), yet you praise Pomeroy. The same Pomeroy that has Duke at #2.

Bracketology 101 said...

If ODU wins at Northern Iowa and wins at least a share of the Colonial regular season title, they'll get an at-large. The Colonial is going to get at most two bids, and if ODU wins the CAA tourney, it'll be a one-bid league.

Nice line, Howard. Throw Lindsey Jacobellis into that mix too.

Anonymous said...

How many conference wins will St. Louis need to get in at large discussion? Could you see any chance for K State to climb up to a 2 seed? Thank you and keep up the outstanding work.

Shaudius said...

"I'm not following you Shadius. Sagarin, Pomeroy, and RPI all have the Big East as the better conference.

As a corollary to your argument, it also means Big East teams get to play the really bad teams less also. (i.e. Iowa, Penn State, Indiana, DePaul, Rutgers)"

It is a fair point that you also play the bottom less although I would argue that there are more legitimate teams at the top of the Big Ten in relative number than there are at the top of the BE, even if you take out Illinois you're talking about 4/11 versus 5/16 and more stinkers 4/16(St. John's, Rutgers, DePaul, Providence) versus 3/11(Iowa, Penn State, Indiana) in the BE, meaning you're more likely to play 7/16 likely to play a middle pack team in the BE versus 4/11 in the BT.

"You destroy the RPI for having Duke too high (and I agree), yet you praise Pomeroy. The same Pomeroy that has Duke at #2."

I agree that Duke is too high in both, I was just using Duke as a quick example for the RPI, but the real kicker is how low OSU is(42 as of today), I praise Pomeroy because as a whole I feel it is much more accurate and predictive than the RPI, not perfect either, but I admit I could have just stuck with the OSU example.

Regardless, I did not mean to get into a which conference is better argument, the BE is better, but the difference isn't that great was my point, the whole thing stemed from B101 stating that Purdue would have an easier time in the BTT than Cuse or Nova would, and therefore he liked them better as a 1 seed down the stretch, my point was that the BT isn't that much worse in the middle than the BE, so to say that Purdue has an easier road is selling the BT short.

The reason I like Purdue down the stretch more personally is because the bulk of Purdue's tough games are behind them, and their remaining games that are the most difficult are at home(MSU and Illinois, although at Minn isn't a gimme), whereas both Nova and Cuse have more difficult games ahead of them because their schedules are more backloaded.

Anonymous said...

Your RPI fun fact of the day:

The winless Bryant Bulldogs are currently above one four-win team in the RPI because they played a tougher schedule.

Shaudius said...

Kenpom has them as 346 ahead of 1 win Alcorn State, to be fair, Bryant is probably actually better than them.

Bracketology 101 said...

Saint Louis needs at least 11 wins to be in the mix for an at-large. If they could ever get to 12, they would be in the field heading into the A-10 tourney.

Kansas State is already a 2 seed in our bracket. If the question was meant to say "1 seed," the Wildcats are still very much in the mix. They are going to have to win out, though, which would include a win at Kansas. If they lose to the Jayhawks, they would have to win the Big XII tournament to jump up to a 1.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that Bryant probably isn't the worst team out there - just find the RPI to be a strange beast in general. No ranking system will be perfect, but the RPI is overly simplistic and yet counterintuitive. Like if you gave the BCS football computers a lobotomy.

My main gripe with RPI as its used today is that there should be some element of how good someone was when you beat them. Teams change in quality as the season goes on for a lot of reasons, and their opponents end up unjustly punished or rewarded because of a swoon or sudden uptick in play. The idea that someone can become a good win or bad loss several months after you played them is ridiculous.

Well, not true, I probably have a laundry list of gripes to add to that about the RPI, but that's my primary one now.

Jeff said...


Our best player was out for our loss to Richmond, and was essentially a scarecrow during our loss to Charlotte. He was kicked in the head against Fordham, giving him migraines and a concussion. He should not have played against Charlotte, but did (to a degree). He couldn't concentrate because of the noise and bright lights, and was forced to leave the game where he was seen on TV covering his ears and his eyes with a towel. So with him healthy, we win at least one of those games.

So since that's factored in for OSU, I hope it's also factored in for Temple.

jetsfootball177 said...

Mr. K

If Uconn goes 4-1 in their next 5 and their one loss is to WVU, do they need to win more then 1 in the BE tournament?